After Sandy, Feds Mull Plan For Artificial Islands

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) – A string of artificial islands off the coast of New Jersey and New York could blunt the impact of storm surges that proved so deadly during Superstorm Sandy, according to a proposal vying for attention and funding as the region continues its recovery.

It’s a big proposal that would cost $10 billion to $12 billion. But it’s also the kind of innovative idea that federal officials requested as they consider how best to protect the heavily populated region from future storms.

“We’ve discussed this with the governor’s office of Recovery and Resiliency and the Department of Environmental Protection, and they all look at me like, ‘Whoa! This is a big deal!” said Alan Blumberg, a professor at New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology. “Yes, it is a big deal. It can save lives and protect property.”

The “Blue Dunes” proposal is part of Rebuild By Design, a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to come up with novel ways to protect against the next big storm. It is one of 10 projects that will be evaluated and voted on next week, but there’s no guarantee any of them will receive funding. Other ideas include building sea walls around cities, re-establishing oyster colonies in tidal flats to blunt wave action and creating water-absorbent nature and recreational preserves.


Enhanced by Zemanta

C’mon Down, The Jersey Shore’s Just Fine

Atlantic Ocean shore at Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic Ocean shore at Atlantic City, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before we do anything, let’s address the giant elephant in the room – and we’re not talking about Lucy of Margate.

Nearly seven months ago, Sandy wrought devastation on the Jersey Shore like never before:  The largest Atlantic storm on record created more than $30 billion in damage up and down the state’s 127-mile coastline. More than 346,000 structures were damaged or destroyed when Sandy whipped across the state on Oct. 29.

Some of the places that held memories so dear for many of us – beaches, homes, boardwalks, piers, shops, amusements, and restaurants – got washed away.  We wondered whether we’d have the chance to enjoy our beloved Shore again.

Well, just as surely as the air and sand and sea will be delightfully warm again, there will be plenty to celebrate this summer.  There are still dozens of great destinations and plenty of fun at the Shore this year.


Prince Harry Tours Storm-Damaged New Jersey Shore

English: A view of the boardwalk in Seaside He...

English: A view of the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey north of Casino Pier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. – Britain’s Prince Harry toured two New Jersey shore communities devastated six months ago by Superstorm Sandy, viewing some of the damage that remains but also walking on a rebuilt boardwalk and shaking hands with construction workers who have been racing to get the resort towns ready for the summer.

In Seaside Heights, where the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore” was taped, he walked down the rebuilt boardwalk with Gov. Chris Christie and both took part in a game of chance, throwing perforated plastic balls into holes for stuffed animal prizes, which they handed over to children.

The two came within sight of a roller coaster that the storm sent plunging into the Atlantic Ocean and which became a defining image of the storm that struck in late October.  A crane was in place to begin demolition of the amusement ride.

In both Seaside Heights and Mantoloking 10 miles north, his first stop, the prince shook hands with police, fire and other emergency personnel.  Harry also greeted construction workers who have been working on rebuilding Seaside Heights’ famous boardwalk, now about two-thirds complete.

Read more:

Jersey Shore Rentals Up, Down Due To Sandy

Picture 052NEW YORK — Superstorm Sandy shifted the sands of the New Jersey shore‘s summer rental landscape, where some resort towns are suffering lasting effects of the barrage and others are, as they say, cleaning up.

Summer rentals are a backbone of the tourist season along the 127-mile stretch of coastline and barrier islands, where vacationers flock to the beaches and boardwalks that are convenient to New York and Philadelphia and more affordable than the celebrity-studded Hamptons on New York’s Long Island.

Some 59 million people visited the Jersey Shore last year, according to state figures.

In Ocean County alone, which is one of the four shore counties and boasts of 44 miles of coastline, the population typically doubles in the summer months to 1.2 million.  In some of its small towns, the population grows ten-fold in the summer, according to county statistics.

Read more:,0,2941227.story

2012 Was Hottest Year Ever In U.S.

WASHINGTON – America set an off-the-charts heat record in 2012.

A brutal combination of a widespread drought and a mostly absent winter pushed the average annual U.S. temperature last year up to 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit, the government announced Tuesday.  That’s a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998.

Breaking temperature records by an entire degree is unprecedented, scientists say.  Normally, records are broken by a tenth of a degree or so.

Read more:

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.7 Percent

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures.

The Labor Department‘s report today offered a mixed picture of the economy.

Hiring remained steady during the storm and in the face of looming tax increases. But the government said employers added 49,000 fewer jobs in October and September than it initially estimated.

And the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low in November from 7.9 percent in October mostly because more people stopped looking for work and weren’t counted as unemployed.

Read more:

‘Forgotten’ West Virginia Struggling In Sandy’s Aftermath

West Virginia counties map

West Virginia counties map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lights are back on in Lower Manhattan, but several West Virginia counties remain in the dark more than a week after Superstorm Sandy dumped up to 3 feet of snow in the state’s higher elevations.

Officials also say it could take at least six months to clear fallen trees in some areas.

While the worst is over, about 12,000 customers remained without power late Thursday and some back roads were still inaccessible, even as work and school resumed for many.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Patti Michel said power was expected to be restored to 95 percent of customers by midnight.

Read more: